AUGUST 25, 2006
Thousands of taxpayer dollars are annually spent on hormone treatments, laser hair removal and makeup for “transgender” prison inmates and now one convicted murderer is suing the Massachusetts Department of Corrections to pay for an expensive sex-change surgery, claiming that he is a woman trapped in a man’s body.
The surgery is estimated to cost between $10,000 and $20,000 and the inmate, convicted in 1993 of murdering his wife, claims that his gender-identity disorder is a serious illness that can lead to severe anxiety, depression, suicide attempts and self-castration. Denying this treatment for a “medical necessity” would violate the Eighth Amendment’s prohibition against cruel and unusual punishment, according to his lawsuit.
The murderer, Robert Kosilek, already receives costly female hormone treatments, laser hair removal, makeup and female undergarments in prison. Many states across the county spend thousand of dollars of public money to regularly provide so-called transgender inmates these costly items because their advocates claim that they will otherwise suffer.
For instance, Massachusetts pays for the hormone shots of at least four inmates diagnosed with gender-identity disorder. Colorado pays for the female hormone treatment of a convicted child molester who is now suing the state to provide him with a gender specialist in hopes that the specialist determines he needs the costly sex-change operation.
Wisconsin is the only state with a law prohibiting the Department of Corrections from using tax dollars for transgender inmates’ hormone therapy or sex-reassignment surgery. The legislation was passed earlier this year and has already been challenged by a civil rights group on behalf of two inmates, who claim they are being denied “appropriate medical treatment while incarcerated.”
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